Inaugural festivities honoring 101st President Matt Difanis will have a fun new format

Join us for a lively experience at the Illinois REALTORS® 101st Inaugural Gala, October 12, 2017 in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Marriott Naperville!

This year’s Gala will be something special, and you will be delighted by its new features! Without spoiling all of the surprises, here are some things to look forward to. Forego the formalwear and relax; dress code is business attire, not black tie! Guests will groove to acoustic music from one of President-elect Matt Difanis’s favorite hometown bands, Love Sign, while they mix and mingle during the hors d’eovres and reception. Rather than a plated dinner, this event will feature international cuisine at a variety of food stations offering delectable fare.

Traditionally, Inaugural serves as the installation ceremony for Illinois REALTORS® Leadership. This year, we will also welcome and install our new board of directors. Meet our new leadership team and help us start the year off right!
Tickets are $95. Purchase at by the reservation deadline of October 3. Everyone should be there to see what’s in store for 2018.

Get preliminary schedule for 2017 Fall Business Meetings & Inaugural Gala

The Illinois REALTORS® Business Meetings & 101st Inaugural Gala 2017 will be held at the Chicago Marriott Naperville on Oct. 11 and 12. See the preliminary schedule and hotel information.

This set of meetings will conclude with the 101st Annual Inaugural Gala honoring Incoming-President Matt Difanis.


VIDEO: RPAC Hall of Fame and Illinois REALTOR® of the Year ceremonies

At this week’s June business meetings, Illinois REALTORS® honored several of its members in two ceremonies.

Monday, eight REALTORS® were inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame for attaining a lifetime giving level of $25,000. Six additional RPAC Hall of Fame inductees achieved $50,000 in lifetime giving. Additionally, Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton was honored for achieving the $75,000 threshold.

Tuesday night was the Illinois REALTOR® of the Year banquet at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Sue Miller, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker-the Real Estate Group in McHenry, Illinois, was named Illinois REALTOR® of the Year. Along with Miller, 24 other REALTORS® of the Year from local associations throughout Illinois were recognized.

Fundraising, Bicentennial Plaza, REEF provide good news for Illinois REALTORS®

Doug Carpenter (left) and Matt Difanis ask the board to vote on a recommendation of Mike Drews as 2019 Region 7 Vice President.

The Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors backed Immediate Past President Mike Drews as its choice to become Region VII Vice President in 2019. The three-state region covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The vote was unanimous, and came at a meeting where board members heard updates on progress on a high-profile Bicentennial project and successes in reaching investment goals with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee.

Illinois REALTORS® CEO Gary Clayton told the board that an old bank branch building likely will be demolished in August, clearing the way for work to begin on the Bicentennial Plaza, a REALTOR® Community partnership.

The Bicentennial Plaza is part of a larger redevelopment plan for the Jackson Street corridor which would ultimately link the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Bicentennial Park, the Executive Mansion and the state Capitol.

President Doug Carpenter reported that 31 of 47 Illinois REALTORS® committees have 100 percent of their members investing in RPAC. Sonia Anaya, speaking for the RPAC Major Investors Working Group, said every member of the Board of Directors is an RPAC Major Investor. Also, the program has already surpassed the annual goal of 439 and now has 493. Finally, with 52 members committed to be in the President’s Circle, the group has exceeded its goal and is fourth in the nation for most in the President’s Circle.

2017 Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation (REEF) President Sue Miller reported 65 people received scholarships in 2016, totaling $52,800. Since the year 2000, REEF has awarded $569,100 in scholarships.

Phil Chiles reported that the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation (IRRF), one of the charitable arms of the Illinois REALTORS®, raised $133,000 in contributions and awarded $5,500 in aid to 11 individuals in 2016.

In 2017, IRRF has received $1,500 in contributions, giving the foundation $170,000 in cash reserves. To assist the tornado victims of the late February early March storms, $25,000 of this was set aside. To date, IRRF has awarded 18 grants to individuals for a total of $8,800. Additionally, IRRF reached out to NAR and was awarded $25,000 to provide REALTOR® Relief Assistance. The committee has awarded one RRF grant to date and will continue to receive applications for this disaster through July 1.

Illinois REALTORS® advocacy provides recap of recent efforts and successes

(l to r) Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan, Member Involvement Group Chair Ginger Sreenan, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, and Jeff Baker and Jim Morphew with Sorling Northrup Attorneys

Despite the ongoing lack of a state budget or much political consensus, Illinois REALTORS® and their lobbying efforts can be counted on to fight for the perennial, core issues that are important to the industry and private property owners.

“We’ve still got our 50 or 60 key bills that we’re lobbying year in and year out,” said Illinois REALTORS® Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin. “It would be nice if we could fix the big picture issues, but that’s not primarily what we do.”

During the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group meeting at this week’s Illinois REALTORS® Business Meetings, the association’s state and local lobbying teams recapped their recent legislative and advocacy efforts.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Successfully opposed Home Rule pushes in several Illinois communities
  • Worked with legislators to improve legislation to eliminate REALTOR® concerns
  • Lobbied against bills and measures that would be detrimental (such as fire sprinkler mandates, changing existing rent control measures and more).